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Home Biographies Johnny Dolphin / John Allen

Johnny Dolphin / John Allen

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John Polk Allen, aka Johnny DolphinJohnny Dolphin is the nom de plume of John Allen
- explorer, author, poet, playwright, scientist, - in 1963 he gave up his New York international project development career to make a two year journey around the world living with the legendary avant-garde and Berber scene in Tangiers, Morocco, then continued dressed as an Arab hiking and hitch-hiking across N. Africa to the Pyramids and Karnak to study the origins of civilization. Deciding to move toward the tribal areas and explore the area of the origins of humanity, he traveled up the Nile, with tribal chiefs and shaman from the South Sudan to Lake Victoria, then journeyed on through Uganda, Kenya, to the sacred Zambezi, then returned north to stay in Swahili Mombasa before taking third class passage with refugees to the Rann of Kutch. From there he wandered through the physical and metaphysical realms of Hindu Karma yogins and Tibetan Lamas. Then he encountered America again working as a stringer to a foreign correspondent and in a hospital on the Ho Chi Minh trail. Though he had published some poetry before, he emerged as an accomplished author with the first book of his authoritative Novel of the Sixties, "Thirty-Nine Blows on a Gone Trumpet". Since then, he has chronicled a personal and social history of the essence of the places he has been through novels, poetry, short stories and plays.

John Allen, inventor and co-founder of the Biosphere 2 project - the world’s largest laboratory for global ecology. Biosphere 2 set a number of world records in closed life system work including, among others, degree of sealing tightness, 100% waste recycle and water recycle, and duration of human residence within a closed system (8 people for two years -- see www.biospherics.org ). Allen began the first manned Biosphere Test Module experiment in September, 1988, residing in the almost fully recyclable closed ecological system environment for three days and setting a world record at that time.

As the Executive Chairman that started up the project and then as Director of Biospheric Research, Development and Engineering for the project, Allen led the world class science and engineering teams that created Biosphere 2's materially closed life system, as well as the development of spin-off technologies. He currently serves as the Chairman of Global Ecotechnics Corporation, an international project development and management company with a Biospheres Division engaged in designing and preparing to build the second generation of advanced materially closed biospheric systems and ecologically enriched biomic systems and its EcoFrontiers Division which owns and operates ecological projects of which he was the chief designer in France, Australia, Puerto Rico and England (www.ecotechnics.edu).

Allen is also co-founder (with Abigail Alling) and Chairman of Biosphere Foundation, a 501 c (3) non-profit corporation devoted to mapping and monitoring the health and vitality of coral reefs, and the exploring the origins of human cultures aboard the Heraclitus, a research vessel that has sailed over 200,000 nautical miles around the world (http://www.pcrf.org).

In the early sixties, John Allen worked on regional development projects with David Lillienthal’s Development Resources Corporation in the U.S., Iran, and Ivory Coast. Before that he headed a special metals team at Allegheny-Ludium Steel Corporation which developed over thirty alloys to product status. He has led expeditions studying ecology, particularly the ecology and early civilizations located in present day Nigeria, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Tibet, Turkey, India, Mexico and the Altiplano.

Dolphin has over two dozen publications to his credit, about half of them scientific, under the name John Allen, the rest in poetry, drama, prose, and film. A Fellow of the Linnean Society, Explorer’s Club, Royal Geographic Society, and the World Academy of Art and Science, Allen holds a degree in Metallurgical-Mining Engineering with honors from the Colorado School of Mines, an MBA with High Distinction from the Harvard Business School where he studied as a Baker Scholar, and holds an Engineering Physiology Certificate from the University of Michigan. Before engineering, he studied anthropology, classics, writing, and history at Northwestern, Stanford, and Oklahoma universities and served in the U.S. Army’s Engineering Corps. as a machinist. He was also a Union organizer on the south side of Chicago in 1951-52 where Paul Robeson and W.E.B.Dubois mentored him.

As Johnny Dolphin he has read his poetry and prose in many places around the world including George Whitman’s Shakespeare & Co. in Paris, the Green Street Cafe in New York where Ornette Coleman accompanied him on the saxophone, The October Gallery in London, (accompanied on occasion by poets such as Ira Cohen, Sebastian Barker, Jack Hirschman, Pops Mohammed, Jegede, and Aidan Dunn), and the Caravan of Dreams in Fort Worth, Texas. His plays have been performed in many countries on seven continents, from the ICA in London and Theatre du Soleil in Paris, to villages on the Amazon and streets in California, from Wroclaw to Oshogbo. As an acting teacher, he has taught over 200 actors and set up ten studios. He performs several times a year with musicians and dancers as Johnny & The Dolphins. He will be reading at City Lights in San Francisco this July 2005.

John is an accomplished speaker on Biospheric Science and Co-Evolutionary Comprehensive Project Design. He has spoken at a variety of international forums on the emerging science of biospherics, the implications of Biosphere 2 for health, environment, science, and culture, and the key role of space biospheres in the future, and the place and role of humanity in the biosphere.


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